AUSTIN CITY LIMITS Interview

November 24, 2002 by Terry Lickona for AUSTIN CITY LIMITS


q: Let's talk about the record. Why don't you explain how it all came together.

a: This band is notable for its longevity and the kind of extended research that we've been allowed to do through the years we have spent together trying to find good answers to difficult musical questions. This journey has been one of trying to define music as we see it - or as we'd like to see it - though an expansive view of what the jazz tradition demands. The current efforts of the group, I think, reflect in many ways the things that have been ongoing issues for us from the beginning. We are trying to reconcile the qualities that we love about music in a general sense with the opportunities that present themselves through improvisation with compositions that challenge all aspects of our relationship to music.

This time having three really incredible new talents in the band who have really opened up a whole bunch of writing possibilities that first manifested themselves through the recording we made together. But especially after playing dozens and dozens of gigs together around the world, we have really found a group sound that has allowed us to take the music from the Speaking of Now album and let it expand and grow. One of the most fun things about being in a band or being a band leader is to experience that collective feeling of things changing and evolving over time over the course of a tour and that's kind of what this whole year has been about.

q: You said you'd played about 150 gigs over the year and you mentioned on stage tonight that this was probably one of the most nerve wracking. Playing for television can be nerve wracking and you can't help but being distracted. Maybe you could explain the unique challenges of trying to do what you do in front of the television cameras.

a: I think any kind of recorded situation puts a unique pressure on somebody who is involved in improvisation...

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